Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The Philippine National Police has recently admitted that eight out of ten police officers handling criminal investigation nationwide lack formal training and skills. A document obtained by a national broadsheet showed that there are 3,781 police officers occupying investigative positions in nine regions but only 908 of them, or roughly 24 percent, have formal training in case investigation. The same document stated that the remaining 2,783 police officers do not have any basic training on how to handle an investigation, but nevertheless, probe cases like crime incidents.
That sorry figure is expected to go up even further when the six other regions, which include Metro Manila and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, submit their data to the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management. DIDM chief Director Arturo Cacdac says the evaluation of PNP personnel occupying investigative positions was part of the effort to address some of the dysfunctions in the PNP. He admits 80 percent of PNP investigators have not undergone any basic investigation course and says that one of the areas that need immediate attention is the lack of competent and effective field investigators who possess the skills and the right attitude to work on a case and pursue it until resolved by the courts.
Filipinos, especially those who have been unfortunate enough to have been victimized by criminals in the past, already know that such a problem exists when it comes to the investigative capabilities of the PNP. What is surprising here is discovering just how severe the problem has become. With 80 percent of police investigations being handled by certified amateurs, it becomes difficult to understand how crimes are actually solved in this country. The PNP’s pathetic investigative capabilities also makes one think of how many innocent people are languishing in our jails for crimes they did not commits because of shoddy police work.
In fairness, Director Cacdac and the PNP are addressing the problem, with two batches of police officers who have recently completed the 45-day basic course on investigation and an “investigative capability project” that is focused on the development of human resources and formulation of needed basic and standard procedures in the conduct of investigation of crimes. Let us hope that the PNP can train all of its investigators properly soon, and even have the vision to up the ante by not being content with a basic course only, but also strive to provide advanced training and technologies so that one of the worst police forces in the world can finally get a long overdue upgrade in that aspect.*